by Cassie Donish




ISBN 9781938900280
Release Date: March 2019
82 pages, 5.3” x 7”
Read Press Release (PDF)



One year, I imagined life as a series of opening and closing elevator doors, and nearby, a series of moving walkways on which some figures are standing, some walking, some running. There are escalators too, and stairwells, and large screens on which flash images of these same mechanisms of movement. A set of doors opens, and there is one’s mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son; there is one’s lover, one’s friend; the doors close again, a fragment of a greeting hanging in the air, or an entire lifetime of conversation, echoes punctuating the stillness, like the feeling of a room just after a lover has gone.


“On the Mezzanine is a dizzying read of obsession, exploration, pain, and expansion. To its great credit, it charts the feeling of being ‘inside our sex’ without tethering that feeling to any easily-discernible map of sexuality or gender; instead it offers a shifting kaleidoscope of touch, feeling, pleasure, longing, and loss. Profoundly romantic even as it edges into estrangement and derangement, it makes space for ‘dark gems of shame’ amidst its dreamy depiction of erotic enchantment and its fallout. It’s a smart, probing, gorgeous, and wholehearted endeavor.”

– Maggie Nelson, judge of the 2017 Nonfiction Chapbook Competition


Cassie Donish is the author of the poetry collections The Year of the Femme (University of Iowa Press, 2019), selected by Brenda Shaughnessy as winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize; and  Beautyberry (Slope Editions, 2018). Her writing has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Best New Poets, Colorado Review, VICE, jubilat, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review Online, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and she currently teaches at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she’s pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing. She grew up in South Pasadena, California.



Book design by Natalie Eilbert.

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